I am currently reading a book series by Martin Walker. They tell the story of Bruno Courrèges , the chief of police in the Périgord area of France. He loves his village of St. Denis, his adopted hometown. Here he finds the love and support he didn’t have as an orphaned boy. One of his great loves is cooking and dining well. He is gourmand and I sadly am a daughter of American cuisine. My palate would be challenged by some of his meals. However, the food doesn’t need to be fancy to be shared.
Dining with friends is a central theme throughout the series. Bruno is known for his cooking in addition to his astute police work. Laughter, sadness, love, hopes and dreams are shared between friends and family around the dinner table. Farewells are said to friends lost through death. Now I realize this is a book and not real life, but I do know the importance sitting together with your family for one meal a day . It plays a vital role in our lives. It is the one chance each day we have the opportunity to focus on those most important to us. Dinner time is when a child might express concern or joy about something inparticular. It is when parents teach their children through discussion the importance of staying connected with what is going on in the world. It is clearly the time parents can share their values through simple conversation.
Dining with friends widens our network of support. We are reminded we don’t face life’s hardships alone and we don’t celebrate the goodness of life alone either. At the dinner table we learn to give thanks for the simple things in life and the importance having a strong network of friends can be. Americans though have a difficult time sitting down and dining. Dinner is often rushed take out. Everyone grabs their order then scrambles off to their private space in the house. I know time is limited and the author is very clever because he writes about Bruno doing preperations prior to his day beginning. It does take practice but if everyone shared the responsiblity (at the the husband and wife) then it wouldn’t seem like such a burden.
Americans don’t entertain friends much anymore either, at least most of my former friends didn’t. When I or the one other friend who entertained would invite people to share dinner in our homes, you would think we had given them an expensive and irreplacable gift. I agree the gift of friendship is irreplacable but sharing dinner doesn’t have to be. If you can’t afford to serve dinner to a group of friends, host a potluck. Or maybe host a dessert party, a make your own pizza party or an after dinner drinks party. The object is to come together for a time and shut out the rest of the world. Bruno, time and time again, finds the support and encouragement he needs around the dinner table.
I live alone and have allowed this to be my excuse for not cooking. Why cook for one? It is so much work if I am the only one who will be eating. Sadly I am teaching myself I am not worth the effort to make good food. A goal I have as I move on from this place, is to bring back the art of dining, even if it is only dining for one.
I have one assignment from Blogging 101 that I have left unfinished. We were to decide whom our audience will be. I know having a specific audience increases your opportunity to have more followers. I have a book review blog which clearly is aimed at readers. Daphne’s Book List and I have a blog called Living Like Demelza where I write about the qualities of Demelza Poldark. She is a character by Winston Graham in the Poldark series. I am striving to be more like Demelza.
So who is the audience for this blog, Life Rewritten. I think I will focus on people who want to expand their life experience. It is so easy to stick to your routine and never try anything new, even if it’s close by. This is my own personal challenge right now. I used to be very adventurous but since my divorce, I have become a hermit and this has to stop. This is no way to live and I can’t continue like this.
So my audience will be those of you who are looking to expand your life experiences through all sorts of means. I won’t focus one thing, say travel. I am going to add New Experience Recap Wednesday. Every Wednesday post a link in the comment section to what you new experience you tried that week. Was it a new recipe? A new restaurant? Make a new friend? Go to a new place? Just write about your experience and tag it NewExperienceRecapWednesday.
As a simple math question the answer is yes 2 + 2 = 4 but in terms of life nothing could be further from the truth. When two people join together and create a new life, they become 3. And most families add to that number and become 4, 5, 6 or more.
If your family is close then there is a good chance you will have experienced a family reunion. It is a large party where the progeny of two people all come together. In my family it was the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren of George and Rose. Over 100 people would gather in the heat of the summer, in a park in Oklahoma City with containers of fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, homegrown tomatoes, lots and lots of pie, and if we were really lucky someone would make homemade ice cream.
My mother was an only child and I have only one sister, so in my daily life we had a very small family. So on those yearly summer days, to learn I was part of something bigger, a family with many branches helped me feel grounded and reminded me I belonged. Maybe my lineage wasn’t to fabulous wealth or royalty, but it was clear my lineage was one of love, caring and a deep and abiding faith in God.
We no longer go to those reunions. My grandmother and all of her siblings have passed on. The group has now splintered off as those other great aunts and uncles have become great, great grandparents in their own right. So they began having their own reunions. Life goes on. Modern life has taken everyone in their own directions. I think about trying to revive the family reunion even though my own family is small. It would consist of 9 people. But I pray and hope that it will grow as my children and my sister’s children marry and have children of their own. So no, I don’t think 2 + 2 = 4.
If you want to have our own family reunion here are some resources: Family Reunion Planning and Family Reunion Ideas